As we go through our busy day, we generally set a course and agree to ourselves that what we do must be done at a beat faster, more efficient, than the day before. I know it’s not always conscience at times but by routine we often do this automatically without regard to our sense of well being. By doing this we fail to recognize the uniqueness and simple joy of being present. Slowing down especially now that we have had all this time with Covid-19 to settle in being at home more, I would guess that some of us have learned to change our pace with a little more grace.
Recent scientific studies have shown that slowing our pace a bit can help us increase our life expectancy and bring us more contentment, (Stewart, S. 2018). The research also shows that long term stress can have adverse effects on our entire mental and physical well being. As we age I think we as a society see slowing down as a negative but I don’t see that way. It doesn’t seem like a loss but an opportunity to embrace the quality of life and helps us clarify our priorities.
Throughout most of our days and lives we’ve learned somehow that the speed of getting things done quickly is more valuable than merely being present. While forging life at a hurried pace says we are more efficient and alludes to the fact “Job well done,” but is it really? During this time I have learned to slow down and work on my own sense of fulfillment. In the pass I would often feel disconnected and harried to point of getting the job done was more important than my own happiness in doing so.
What I have experienced during this down time is I have rediscovered the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of my life, like mealtime, something that I took for grant it without celebration. Reconnecting with friends, learning to sew again, playing music and writing long letters to loved ones. Simple pleasures, yet requires meaningful thought and time. Slowing down has given me the gift of time — time to indulge my curiosity, to enjoy each moment as it comes, with delight and to explore my inner thoughts more fully.
Does this mean that if I slow down that I’ve become more passive, less efficient or moving as in a sloth pace that life will pass me by? I think when we conduct ourselves at a slower pace we give ourselves the opportunity to be more selective and appreciate the task at hand more fully. There are times that slowness shows up as a boon in times of haste. As we address urgent matters we can learn to pace ourselves even if for a few moments to embrace those activities and commitments to help us better navigate our time. With awareness slowing down brings us the quality of time with loved ones, a sense of wholeheartedness in work, and fulfillment that nurtures and gives back the quality of living.
It is a challenge, often a temptation to give in to being rushed, since we live in a society of split second communication, cell phones, an over abundance of noise and overflowing agendas. Yet replaced feelings of continuous accountability by merely slowing down will be rewarded with a deep sense of contentment with a relaxed tempo that will open your heart and mind to a more profound awareness of your innate happiness and reverence of life.
REFERENCE: (Stewart. S., Psychology Today, 2018, The Gift of Aging)